Where Are the Shareholders’ Mansions? CEOs’ Home Purchases, Stock Sales, and Subsequent Company Performance

Abstract

We study real estate purchases by major company CEOs, compiling a database of the principal residences of nearly every top executive in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index. When a CEO buys real estate, future company performance is inversely related to the CEO’s liquidation of company shares and options for financing the transaction. We also find that, regardless of the source of finance, future company performance deteriorates when CEOs acquire extremely large or costly mansions and estates. We therefore interpret large home acquisitions as signals of CEO entrenchment. Our research also provides useful insights for calibrating utility based models of executive compensation and for understanding patterns of Veblenian conspicuous consumption.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Stern School of BusinessNew York UniversityNey YorkUSA

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